User Review: Mountain Hardwear Helion 2
Design: three-seaon free-standing trapezoid
Ease of Setup: moderate-ish
Weight: 4 pounds
Price Paid: Returned
Buyer beware! Purchasing the Helion 2 will most likely only make your retailer or Mountain Hardwear happy. Sound like harsh criticism? Read on.
The Helion's advertised floor area is 28 square feet--a small two-person, but a doable size. I set up the tent and was shocked at how small it was--nowhere near the size of my other 28-ish square foot tents. I measured the actual floor, and calculated real floor area of roughly 19.7 square feet! That's strictly solo tent size! Most of the area comes in length; two 20 inch Therm-a-rests won't fit--not even the tapered ProLites--without significant overlapping.
In some bizarre experiment, Mountain Hardwear also decided to combine the worst attributes of pole clips and sleeves. What they did was use small plastic rings instead of clips. So you have to thread the poles through these things one-by-one over their entire length. You don't get the ease of clips or the strength of poles.
I won't deny that they used some pretty nice looking materials that're relatively light. But here's the bottom line. The Helion 2 is a $400 dollar, 4 pound solo tent. There are plenty of solos out there, the same size, a pound to two pounds lighter, for at least $150 dollars less. In my mind, then, there's no point in a Helion.